July 17, 2008

Airport Chiefs Plan Talks With Cabbies Over Levy Bid to Avert More Chaos After Taxi Drivers’ Blockade


GLASGOW Airport bosses will hold showdown talks with taxi drivers after a mass blockade disrupted holidaymakers.

Dozens of vehicles took part in the protest yesterday over changes enforced following last year's terror attack.

The majority of the 177 drivers who operate from the airport's forecourt are angry over a GBP60-a-week levy introduced to pay for new radios and tracking software to ensure vehicles can be pinpointed at all times.

BAA Scotland today pledged to hold talks with the drivers and management firm Inverclyde Taxis, which operates the rank and collects the cash.

A BAA spokesman said:

"We are happy to listen to the drivers but our primary objective is to put our passengers first.

"The blockade appeared to have been timed to coincide with the build up to the Glasgow Fair, and to cause maximum disruption .

"We are absolutely determined to push ahead with our service improvement measures, and to deliver a high quality, professional taxi service for our passengers. All too often, there are too few taxis to meet demand at peak times. " No flights were delayed as a result of yesterday's action but the taxi convoy blocked the main access routes to the forecourt.

Drivers who took part in the protest allege the GBP3000a-year radio rental fee is too high, the technology is unreliable and there have been problems with network coverage and payment for credit work since the changes were introduced.

A BAA spokesman added:

"We believe the cost of this new radio technology is a small price to pay to deliver a better service for our passengers."

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

(c) 2008 Evening Times; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.